Sunday, 19 January 2014

Girl from the Town of Ceramics

As an immigrant to this country of Canada, I have never been particularly patriotic towards my home country or culture.  While familiar with the food, tradition and general culture of the region of  Poland, there was more encouragement to amalgamate or become part and a representation of Canadian culture as opposed to that of our home country.

In many ways it made sense to take upon the culture of the country to which we have come to live as opposed to holding on to a culture of the past, a culture which had represented a great deal of cultural upheaval.

As a student of archaeology, I learned about the importance of the role of the pottery pieces and  our ability to examine shards of them in order to identify changes within ancient cultures.  Pottery has been often utilized as a means of measuring the start of or end to a time period.  As well, pottery also  often documented outside influence(s), such as invading cultural influences, trade with different cultures and/or changes within a culture in and of itself.

Kelley who does the topic more justice than I feel I ever could at this moment in time) of Never a Dull Day in Poland is an American expatriate living in Poland and has done a fairly extensive and relatively recent post (2013) of her adventures within and experience(s) of  Boleslawiec and the lower Silesian region here and an historical post that's a little bit more in depth here.   But enough of the **academic blah, blah, blahs for today.

...We're talking imagination and inspiration...'Cause you know that's how this blog rolls...

* Peacock Pattern 
  While always having know of the prevalence of the pottery, and being given a few pieces by way of my grandmother over the years, I had never really took an interest the pottery, until that is a few days ago.

I was out and about and saw a sign in a shop window advertising that they sold ceramics from the Boleslawiec region, see: Distinctly Tea, I wandered in noticing that they carried stoneware ceramics from my home town and I became curious to see the extent to their collection.  I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered was that there was an entire wall, and several tables dedicated to ceramics from the Silesian region. 

 * 1. Blue Daisy Design 2. Shelves of Boleslawiec Pottery 3. Official seal of authenticity 4. City Centre Boleslawiec Photo here. 5. Peacock Pattern Design

While wandering and being overwhelmed by the beautiful and somewhat bohemian designs of the ceramics, the feeling swept over me that I wanted to purchase a piece for myself.  Out of all of the choices which you see on the shelves the choice was vast, I was drawn to the mug on the left, the so called blue daisy design. These mugs are popular and believe it or not, like any designer item (as these are often considered to be), fakes abound.  I contacted my resident certifier of ceramics aka mom, who had once apprenticed at the ceramics factory in Boleslawiec where the stoneware is made.

In the video you may see how the artist gains their inspiration and how the ceramics from start of finish are based upon the artist's inspiration.

If like me you are keen and curious about how all things are inspired, and the journey they take to becoming a reality, and if you're super super curious, nerdy and/or studious about the process check out this:

I think or at least I've found my life, that things (i.e. people books and in this case pottery), find you when you're ready for them. Even though I was always interested in cultural history, it was my own cultural history to a great extent which I have been denying.

As  I get older, and as I find that I am losing connection with the sources of culture information (i.e. grandparents), considering it a bit more closely I found that the mug was perhaps a moment of inspiration, to reconnect with my cultural heritage or to incorporate it a little more reality in my day to day life, perhaps in In a very nostalgic sense through way of pottery. But this is all in retrospect, of course.

At the time, all I knew is that I wanted to take one of the mugs home.  Once I found the appropriate contender (see the mug above), and having received the "official" go ahead, being called a 'silly girl' on top of it, (I care not, say what you wish), I scooped it up and ecstatically carried this mug away to it's new home. 

 As I type this, and reflecting on the day's adventures  enjoying a hot chocolatey cup of spicy hot chocolate, I hope that you're also keeping warm on this very snowy evening.



* Photos of products taken by Marta Komar for MWiktoria blog, this is not a sponsored post.  Pottery, teas, and the like may be found at Distinctly tea locations.
 **(Pssst, if you really like the academic twist you can always, and I would encourage you to check out the 'Museum of Ceramics in Boleslawiec)

No comments :

Post a Comment